Melissa Blake was Rob Tapert's personal assistant during the run of "Hercules" and "Xena". She met her future husband Bob Orci there, since he was one of their main writers for the shows.
Melissa Blake: (on the reason that the character Gabrielle was necessary for the success of "Xena") Xena is a very dark show, and if you didn't have Gabrielle, it would be relentless. Xena would become Clint Eastwood in all those Spaghetti Westerns. She'd ride into town, terrible things would happen and she'd ride out and we'd go, "Whew! I'm glad that's over."